NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Analysts anticipate ReneSola ( SOL), Suntech Power ( STP), Trina Solar ( TSL), Yingli Green Energy Holding Company ( YGE), and JA Solar Holdings ( JASO) to see upsides in the range of 20%-99% during 2011.

In comparison, integrated oil and gas majors Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Total ( TOT), BP ( BP), ConocoPhillips ( COP), and Chevron ( CVX) have upsides in the range of -4% to 16% according to the consensus estimates of 12-month target prices.

The U.S. administration recently extended subsidies for solar and wind projects under the Treasury Grant Program, a popular incentive for renewable energy projects. The program, scheduled to expire on December 31, was considered an important buffer for the alternative energy industry during the recession. The U.S. government's move will fortify the global renewable energy market, say analysts.

Industry analysts believe that the sector's long-term prospects are intact. According to Clean Edge, a research and advisory firm dedicated to the clean energy sector, annual revenues for the global solar, wind, and biofuels sectors were around $125 billion during 2008 and grew to around $145 billion in 2009, despite the global economic slowdown.

Clean Edge estimates revenues from the three sectors at around $343.4 billion within the next decade with solar photovoltaic revenues growing from the current $36 billion to $117 billion, while the biofuels segment could surge from $45 billion to $113 billion, and wind power from $64 billion to $114 billion.

Analysts are positive on the prospects for solar energy. Nimal Vallipuram, analyst at Gilford Securities says, "While acknowledging the concern bedeviling the EU, we are of the firm opinion that 2011 global solar demand will not disappoint. Despite the perceived dislocations in state sponsorships, we forecast the global demand to be around 18GW in 2011 and around 15GW in 2010."

Ardour Global Alternate Energy Index, the benchmark for the alternative energy industry, outperformed global stock markets during 2007 and early 2008; however, post-crisis, clean energy stocks underperformed the global as well as the U.S. indices. Strong demand potential for alternative energy sources will help these five stocks deliver handsome returns to investors.

5. Suntech Power Holdings (Suntech) engages in the manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) products.

After announcing third-quarter results, Dr. Zhengrong Shi, the company's chairman and CEO said, "Shipments and revenues each hit new quarterly records and we reached production capacity of 1.6GW. We are on track to achieve our goal of 1.8GW cell and module capacity by the end of this year." Net revenues came in at around $750 million during the third quarter, up 19% sequentially and 57% year-on-year.

The management is targeting a top-line of $3.4 to $3.6 billion in 2011. Analysts believe that improving prospects across Europe and the U.S. will support this guidance. Besides, the company is planning a joint venture with the government of China for adding 1.2GW capacity during 2011-12.

Post third-quarter, analysts have increased earnings estimates for 2011 from 95 cents per share to $1.50 per share. The stock is trading at 10-11 times its estimated 2010 earnings.

4. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company is one of the world's largest vertically integrated PV products manufacturer. The company has presence across the entire PV manufacturing value chain, from polysilicon to solar cells. Yingliâ¿¿s main markets are the U.S., Germany, France, and China.

During the third quarter, riding on the back of a 25% increase in PV module shipments, net revenues surged to $490 million quarter-on-quarter. The company delivered better-than-expected earnings in September, with net profit at $68 million and a net profit margin of 13.9%.

Revenue guidance for 2010 is $1.78 to $1.81 billion with a module shipments target of 1.02MW to 1.04MW. Marcus Chang, analyst at H&J Asset Research says, "We expect Yingliâ¿¿s business strategy likely to benefit good market condition in terms of steady growth in demand and leading market position, by expanding capacity and building vertically integrated manufacturing cost structure despite initial cost would likely to rise in the first half of 2011." The stock is trading at 7-8 times its estimated 2010 earnings.

3. Trina Solar is a China-based manufacturer of solar power products.

During the September quarter, solar module shipments stood at 291MW, surpassing the company's guidance of 250-260MW and jumping 130% year-on-year. Net revenues surged over 100% year-on-year to $510 million during the same period.

Trina reported reaching its 2010 annualized production target of around 950MW of PV cell and module capacity during August itself. In fact, the company has upgraded its 2010 year-end guidance to 1.1GW.

Following the cutback in silicon costs and non-silicon manufacturing expenses, gross margins stood at 31.4%, expanding 300 basis points, compared to the same period last year.

Lower interest costs and foreign currency exchange losses boosted net income to more than double to $82.9 million during the September quarter, compared to the same period last year.

Analysts prefer Trina over its peers due to stable margins and higher cash flow generation from operations. The stock is trading at 8 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

2. JA Solar Holdings is one the largest manufacturers of solar cells and solar products in China. The company has a diversified global customer base with 53% customers being international.

JASO registered a fifth consecutive quarter of record shipments. During September, shipments were up 34% to 418MW, compared to an initial guidance of 375MW. Revenues were up 52% year-on-year to $541 million.

After the company achieved the 1 gigawatt (GW) shipment milestone, Dr. Peng Fang, the companyâ¿¿s CEO says, "JA Solar has achieved the 1GW shipment milestone in the first three quarters of 2010 and will strive to meet the global demand for clean energy in the future. We expanded our annual cell manufacturing capacity to 1.8GW at the end of September, and we recently reached 1.9GW of solar cell capacity, ahead of capacity expansion schedule." Based on strong demand, the management expects shipments to exceed 1.45GW in 2011, pegging the December quarter shipments at 450MW. The stock is trading at 10-12 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

1. ReneSola (SOL) is a China-based manufacturer of solar wafers and solar module products. SOL is one of the largest solar wafer suppliers in China with a client profile that includes well-known names like Suntech Power. The company generates around three-fifth of its revenues from China.

During the September quarter, net revenues were up 41.3% on the back of record solar wafer shipments to 325MW, up 26% from the second quarter. Due to efficient cost management, operating margins improved to 24.1%, compared to 20.6% in June.

Foreign exchange gains drove net income to $60.1 million, scaling up 67% from the prior quarter.

In its full year guidance, the company foresees robust demand for solar products. The management indicates that solar wafer and module shipments could be in the range of 1.13-1.15GW and 1.6-1.7GW for 2010 and 2011, respectively. The stock is trading at 5-7 times its estimated 2011 earnings.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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